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April 2023

MediaLawLetter April 2023

in this issue

Long-Run Effects of Dominion v. Fox

George Freeman

The judge’s decision to dismiss any argument based on the neutral reportage privilege was a lost opportunity. It could have corrected one of the few areas where good journalism and the law diverge.

Arizona Supreme Court Finds Radio Host’s Statements Protected as Opinion, Political Speech

Michael J. Lambert

The Arizona Supreme Court has issued a ringing endorsement for the safeguards provided to opinions and political speech in a defamation case involving a local radio talk show host.


D.C. Court of Appeal Affirms Anti-SLAPP Fee Award in “Steele Dossier” Case

Chuck Tobin

The court’s decision significantly strengthens arguments for defendants to recover fees under the District’s anti-SLAPP law, including the fees they expend in litigating entitlement to fees.

Stop the Steal Organizer’s Narrowed Defamation Claim Proceeds to Discovery

Matthew Cate

Ruling on a motion to dismiss, Judge Pitman held that an article’s characterizations of plaintiff as a “Jan. 6 Capitol riot organizer” and a person who “helped coordinate the Jan. 6 Capitol insurrection” were capable of being proven true or false, and therefore actionable in defamation, and that Bostic adequately pleaded the defendants published them with actual malice.


Summary Judgment Awarded to Obstacle Course Racing Blogger

Madeleine Blair, Isabel White and Lindsey Floyd

In a 74-page decision, the court dismissed all defamation and defamation per se claims against Davis for insufficient evidence of actual malice.


Internet Archive Slammed in Decision Rejecting Mass Distribution of Unlicensed Ebooks Under ‘Controlled Digital Lending’ Theory

Jack Browning, Linda Steinman and Liz McNamara

Judge Koeltl delivered a decision definitively characterizing Internet Archive’s actions as brazen copyright infringement.

South Dakota Supreme Court Unseals Billionaire’s Search Warrant Materials, Again!

Jeremy Kutner

A year and a half after the South Dakota Supreme Court unsealed search warrant materials related to billionaire T. Denny Sanford, who was under investigation for possession of child pornography, the court finished the job, unsealing the underlying affidavits that finally told the public what the investigation was all about.